20.21 closing, D'Amico confirmed for Walker Art Center food service

WalkerArtCenter.jpg
D'Amico ousts Wolfgang Puck from the Walker.
"It's true," says Richard D'Amico, when asked about Heavy Table's anonymous report that his restaurant group would be ousting 20.21 from its prime digs at the Walker Art Center.

D'Amico says he was recently approached by a Walker consultant, along with several other restaurateurs, to be considered as a replacement for the Wolfgang Puck-branded eatery. With a strong track record in providing museum food service--at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Museum of Russian Art, and the Mill City Museum--it's no surprise that D'Amico got the gig. (The D'Amicos must be feeling pretty badass after ousting their second international cheflebrity, having also replaced Jean-Georges Vongerichten's flagging Chambers Hotel restaurant with D'Amico Kitchen in 2009.)

D'Amico shared a few exciting tidbits about what's in store:

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Michelle Leon
The Walker restaurant's pretty patio.
The new restaurant will be named Gather, and primarily a lunch operation offering contemporary American fare, D'Amico says. The more innovative component of the concept will take place during the restaurant's "guest chef" dinners on Thursday nights, when the museum is open until 9 p.m. and offers Target-sponsored free admission.

D'Amico says that each month, a new chef--he named former D'Amico employees Isaac Becker, Doug Flicker, and Seth Bixby-Daugherty, as examples, though there will certainly be other locals featured, including a few current D'Amico chefs--will bring in a new menu and cook some of their specialties to introduce Walker guests to their style of cooking and restaurant. "It'll be all the top chefs in the Cities," D'Amico says. "It's a great way for them to showcase what they do to hook a new audience."

So when will the transition take place? D'Amico suggested that 20.21 would be operating for another two months or so, but deferred the particulars to the Walker. [[Update: The Walker Art Center says the change will be effective April 18.]]

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5 comments
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GeriR
GeriR

20.21 was a spectacular restaurant. Bad decision.

MN Foodie
MN Foodie

This sucks...I love 20.21 and D'Amico is average at best

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

NateO, the article expresses none of my opinions about the D'Amico company or the switch except for calling the idea of the monthly guest chefs "exciting." If you have access to Lurcat's and 20.21's financial records, please send 'em over, otherwise, unsubstantiated accusations don't have a long shelf life with the comment moderators.

NateO
NateO

Rachel, why do you love the D'Amico's so much? Take a long look at the Kitchen, which is empty, Lurcat that breaks even, and now another spot with a name but no profit. Remember, 2021 NEVER had a profitable year. It was always the catering that carried the Walker.

Tilda
Tilda

D'Amico "American Food" restaraunt = BORING. Closed at night = BORING. Way to drop the ball, Walker.

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